My brother came to town last month. We took him to the park. The only reason we call him a nerd is that he’s an avian ecologist. Bird nerd.
We’re just jealous.
Allison had to stay behind with Stella. Rats!! But she (Stella, that is) doesn’t fly coach.
Went out to eat at Miyako’s.
M likes the cooked shrimp sushi. My own struggles with organization make me admire her precise shrimp stacking.
Biking home from Miyako's.
One morning we took Andrew to Clover Park.
I think Bea is looking forward to playing soccer with the big kids.
The girls suckered A into the TOWER. I’d like to know who installed this urine-soaked deathtrap in a children’s playground? Who?? Why??
Gratuitous tub shot.
We grilled out at home Saturday night. So nice not to have to clean up & rush off somewhere all the while trying to beat the nighttime rush.
Next morning we went for a hike at Sullivan Canyon. It was already pretty hot but the Canyon is shaded.
Bea in her hiking dress.
Someone put up a fun rope swing in there!
Mountain lion bait.
We were really hot & tired so we got us some Jamba juice & headed home.
During Bea’s nap, Andrew & M read the books he brought them: “A Light in the Attic” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends.”
On the way to LAX we took Andrew to one of his favorite restaurants – Killer Shrimp. It used to be a really small/alternative place on Washington Blvd. There was one in Studio City too. It only had one dish: Cajun style shrimp. You could get it unpeeled (best!), or peeled over white rice (hypo-glycemic nightmare), or over angel hair pasta (ditto). It’s served in a spicy broth with a colander of doughy white bread, perfect for soaking up the broth. Anyway, that’s how it WAS. It closed for a few years but it’s back! Now it’s more of a large family-friendly place with a full menu. It’s not vegetarian friendly in any way though. Still, I enjoyed the grilled caesar salad (which I make better at home) and a glass of chardonnay. Nice!
Whew – I didn’t mean to do a mini restaurant review there. But since I’ve gone this far: Killer Shrimp is family friendly with a bar, an aquarium of exotic fish, indoor & outdoor seating on the marina, and TV screens to watch sports (Great!) (Not.) The kid’s meals need some tweaking. They have a mac N cheese for kids but it’s HUGE and has real cheese in it v. American cheese. My kids really didn’t like it and it also tasted like they used a lot of flour. They also have sliders though and those worked out fine. They need to work on the portion sizes and offer something besides fries for the kids though.
At first the kids were well-behaved. And by kids, I include M’s doll.
But Bea started getting restless.
Time to go!
We miss Andrew & Allison!! We can’t wait to see them again & meet their new pup, Stella.
In the matter of a few months we found out our landlord wanted to sell the house we have been renting, so, rather than look for a new place, pack & move, we bought it, discovered we had TERMITES, cut a pesky avocado tree down before we could get the termite tenting done, exorcised a disgusting, overgrown, rat/possum den of a bird-of-paradise (thanks, Suzanne! NOT a banana tree as we boldly claimed) and then just went crazy and cut the hedges, gave the magnolia a buzz cut and the rest is history – the backyard went from a damp shady den of moist dog doo to the Sahara desert. (A few semi-colons probably would’ve worked nicely in that last passage, eh?)
Jasmin: SEE YA LATER!
Avocado tree: AU REVOIR!
Nasty vermin filled bird of paradise: ADIOS!
Wait a minute? What’s that apartment building back there? I’ve never seen THAT before. D’OH!
There went our privacy & shade. But it’s worth it, right? Now we just need $700+ to remove the sap oozing stump.
But I digress…
In the course of all that we thought it’d be a good idea to go camping during the termite tenting. We didn’t want to go far on account of the backseat passengers and our nerves. So we drove up to Malibu – Pt. Mugu – and camped in our VW on the beach. Doesn’t that sound nice? Beach camping in Malibu? What could possibly go wrong?
Before camping we had to drop LP off at Cat Camp. He was excited about the early morning lake swims, hoisting the flag up the flagpole & archery.
His camp cost more than our camp site. That should’ve told us something.
This sign was posted in the door of the medical lab next door to the camp. Brilliant! I want to put this sign on my front door.
After discreetly tucking the Sit-N-Spin and Bop-It Extreme in my back pocket & getting back into the van, we headed up to the camp site with high hopes and a beach blanket.
Bea put her shades on.
Everyone got comfy in the van.
Our arrival. Looked pretty nice for car camping on side of PCH.
On the second level with the pop top up!
OK. Let’s go outside!
Bea can just sit on this nice blanket with a “toy.”
Maddie pretending to help with something. She is strongest at pretending to help.
Get back on the blanket, BEA!! Don’t eat sand, BEA! Don’t eat rockscigarettebuttsstringsplasticbbsrustybottlecapsfilthyurinesoakedsand, BEA!!!
Phew! At least Maddie is behaving. The wind picked up & blew the chairs over & anything else we had.
At least SOMEBODY stayed on the blanket!
This one’s for you, Lynchie!
The only way to keep Bea from putting everything in her mouth.
It looks nice in a photo in a brand new frame from Target but for how many hours is this really sustainable?
We give up. Let’s sit in the van. All 4 of us + the dog.
How many hours till bedtime?
Oops! That was all us!
One thing I cannot capture is the dusty filthiness of the sand. G advised everyone to wear shoes & socks and he couldn’t have been more correct.
After a sleepless night, we decided to high tail it out of there & possibly even find a better campsite for the second night. Everyone was grumpy.
We packed up
and high-tailed it out of there.
We drove to Ventura and ate at Toppers Pizza. I absolutely LOVED it!! Did I really love it or was I just so happy to be near hot water & soap, pizza and the chocolate chip pizza they claimed as their specialty? I don’t know and I don’t care.
On the way back we decided to take the scenic route through a canyon. It was warm and got warmer & warmer all the while. The girls fell asleep.
I tried to read.
What is an ague?
We kept driving.
We got out to stretch in a swarm of flies. We got right back in and drove right back to our same campsite from the previous night.
What I don’t have pictures of is the amazing cliffside playground/dog park G found high above the Pacific Ocean. Thank garsh, G!! We stayed there till around 7PM. Then it was back to the “beach.”
CIAO! And don’t say we didn’t leave you anything!